UN Appoints New Envoys from Guinea and South Africa
Bintou Keita from Guinea and Nicholas Fink Haysom from South Africa were formally endorsed by the United Nations Security Council as the new emissaries of the organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and South Sudan, respectively, according to an official announcement on Thursday.
Madam Bintou Keita was born in 1958, and in 1989 she entered the United Nations. Up until now, after serving as Assistant Secretary General for Peacekeeping Operations, she was the UN Under-Secretary-General for Africa (2017).
Bintou has also held positions in Darfur (2015) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), among others and will succeed in February to Algerian Leila Zerrougui who will have spent three years in the DRC – a particularly demanding and tiring job that is one of the largest and most difficult peacekeeping operations in the world, according to diplomats.
The Monusco peace mission has about 15,000 peacekeepers, with an annual budget of around one billion dollars. Its mandate was renewed in December for one year by the UN Security Council with a cautious start to disengagement spread over several years, without a specific end date.
Bintou has also held roles in Darfur (2015) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), among others, and will replace Leila Zerrougui of Algeria, who will spend three years in the DRC in February – an especially challenging and tiring task, according to diplomats, which is one of the largest and most difficult peacekeeping operations in the world.
There are about 15,000 peacekeepers on the Monusco peace mission, with an annual budget of about one billion dollars. Its mandate was extended by the UN Security Council for a year in December, with a cautious beginning of disengagement spread over many years, without a clear end date.
According to diplomats, Nicholas Fink Haysom was picked by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to succeed David Shearer of New Zealand.
Nicholas Fink Haysom, born in 1952, has already served in Sudan and South Sudan for the UN, and also in Somalia, from which he was expelled in 2019 on government charges of intervening in the country’s internal affairs.
With an annual budget of more than US$ 1 billion and a force of 17,000 peacekeepers, the UN peace mission in Southern Sudan (Minuss) is the most costly of the organization’s similar current operations, perhaps to be reduced to 15,000 as per a recommendation based on a recent independent UN report.
A requisite military presence is likely to continue as inter-community violence continues in the midst of the country’s six-year long civil war.